By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Wednesday was an emotional one for 200 military families in Minnesota.

National Guard soldiers from the Mankato-based 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry Regiment reunited with their families Wednesday morning after a long deployment.

They were serving on a peacekeeping mission in Egypt for almost a year.

soldier returns Natl Guard Soldiers Make Emotional Return In Bloomington

(credit: CBS)

“I feel like butterflies,” said Casey Snater, wife of Sgt. Noah Snater. “Just really excited, nervous.”

Nicole Scherck already got one homecoming present — a new family dog named Waldo. He was rescued in Egypt while her husband was deployed.

WCCO was at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport when Waldo and other rescued dogs were flown home from Egypt ahead of the soldiers to their families.

waldo the dog Natl Guard Soldiers Make Emotional Return In Bloomington

Nicole Scherck and Waldo (credit: CBS)

“He keeps saying it’s going to be his dog, but he’s pretty attached to me so we’ll see what happens [laughs]!” Scherck said.

Busses finally pulled up outside the Bloomington Armory after months of waiting.

Sgt. Snater found his wife and two children. He picked up his son, who was overjoyed to tears.

“He couldn’t hold it in anymore,” Casey Snater said. “He’s just glad to have his dad home.”

Months of sacrifice knowing familiar faces — and some new ones — were waiting for them back home.

“I’ve gotten some pictures of [Waldo the dog] getting some human food, so I think I’ll win him over,” said Lt. Garith Scherck.

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